Father at 19: Giving party life up for new-born daughter
Becoming a father at 19, Mr. Chong had to transition early to adulthood. Find out how he gave up his carefree lifestyle for his family of three.
Being a father at 19
For many youths today, being 19 spells painting the town red in the wee hours of the morning. At 19, Mr. Chong had to give up his clubbing days and focus his time on his family of three instead.
His then-girlfriend was 18 when she found out she was pregnant. Even though this unexpected prospect of parenthood was terrifying, both Mr. Chong and his girlfriend were certain that abortion was not an option.
Mr. Chong said, “(My daughter) is my flesh and blood, I will never be able to live with it if we decided to abort her.”
This firm decision to keep their child gave the couple a goal and a plan to start a family. Soon after, they had an intimate wedding. Albeit an understated affair, Mr. Chong is happy, and declares “I got to marry the woman I love.”
The unexpected path to maturity
The transition from immaturity to being a father allowed Mr. Chong to abandon his carefree days with content. He currently spends his nights taking care of his baby daughter, Aldee Chong.
He tells The New Paper, “Being a father has taught me not to indulge in the stupid things that I used to do when I was single. When you’re single, you have no responsibilities to anyone else. You can do whatever you want, you can waste time. When you’re a father, you have something to work for.”
The family of three lives with Mr. Chong’s parents, but the responsibility of supporting his family financially rests on him. His wife has since quit school to take care of Aldee at home.
Motivated by his beloved wife and daughter, Mr. Chong is studying full-time, as well as juggling a part-time job. The pay is sufficient to support the three of them.
A fulfilling fatherhood
Although Mr. Chong admits that he no longer joins his friends on night outs, he still manages to keep up with their lives. He does not regret giving up his carefree lifestyle, because watching his daughter grow up fills him with happiness.
He says, “Being a father… It makes you feel less lonely, you will always have someone.”
Addressing young fathers’ fears
1. How do I afford a child?
Raising a baby requires a lot of money. Sacrifices and cut backs have to be made in order to make ends meet. Careful budgeting may be part of your lifestyle but once these sacrifices have been made for the benefit of your child, these sacrifices will be well worth the effort.
2. Transitioning to adulthood
Young men like Mr. Chong have lived the sort of self-centered lives where they did whatever they wanted to do. But transitioning to fatherhood means putting your wife and child first before your wants and needs. Responsibilities are hard to handle but always remember that your family is priority.
3. Will I be a good father?
Surely, doubts of you becoming a good father plague your mind—Will I raise a delinquent? Or will my child love and respect me in the future? The greatest fear among most young dads is whether or not he is ready for fatherhood. Instead of doubting yourself, take the initiative to be there for your child at all times, care for him or her, teach them how to have good morals and last but not least, shower your child with unconditional love.
Did you have children during your teenage years? If so, how has being a father at such an early age been for you? Check out other stories of teenage dads, who experienced being a father early: